If you are about to graduate from college with a BA or BS degree, you’re probably wondering what you should do next.
Some students have had their next steps mapped out for years and even have a job lined up starting the day after graduation. But let’s face it — that’s not exactly the norm!
If you’re unsure what to do next, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you have a lot of options now that you’re about to be the proud owner of a BA or BS degree. Take a look at some of the most common steps for recent grads.
Get a Job After Graduation
If you are eager to start earning money once you graduate from college, you need to assess the job market in your prospective field. When you have a BA or BS degree, you should be in the running for a variety of jobs. Try to take a look at the market a few months before you graduate to find out which positions you are qualified for.
If you simply need to start earning income and do not have a particular position in mind, you may be able to get a postgraduate job quickly. It might not be your dream job, but it’s important to keep busy until you figure out what you’re looking for — and it’s preferable not to have long gaps between jobs on your resume.
Of course, if you have a specific career in mind that calls for the BA or BS degree you possess, you should start applying for positions as soon as possible. Make sure you have a high quality resume and fulfill any other requirements in addition to your degree (i.e. basic knowledge of things like Photoshop and Excel) if you want the best shot.
Go Back to School for Professional Skills
During your job search, you may realize you need more than a BA or BS degree to break into the career of your choice. In some cases, even when additional schooling is not a requirement, it might give you an edge in the job market. If so, find out which graduate degree is best for the field you are interested in.
For example, you may want to study nursing, occupational therapy or mechanical engineering. Many schools offer a variety of professional programs that teach advanced skills in specific fields. You can typically finish such programs in less than two years, after which you can start your job search again with more confidence.
Return to School to Study Academics
If there are no professional programs specific to your field, but you still don’t think you are done with your education, you can return to college to study an academic subject of your choice. Ideally, the courses you choose will relate to your future career.
For example, if you plan to be a math teacher and have already attained a BA or BS degree, you are generally required to attain your teacher’s certification, and then a master’s degree within five years of graduating. If you wish to be a writer or editor, taking advanced English courses can make you a stronger candidate when it’s time to look for a job.
If you still have not made up your mind about what to do after graduation, don’t feel pressured to make any major decisions just yet. You can always feel out your options as you go, and you may even decide to do it all, working a job while going back to school. In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy the moment as you graduate with a BA or BS degree!